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Bill Broonzy Story
Big Bill Broonzy
Bill Broonzy Story
Genres: Country, Blues, Pop
Originally recorded in 1957, these sessions turned out to be the last the legendary Big Bill Broonzy would record; only a little over a year later, he succumbed to lung cancer. This collection consists not of fan or produc...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Big Bill Broonzy
Title: Bill Broonzy Story
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Original Release Date: 8/17/1999
Release Date: 8/17/1999
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Country, Blues, Pop
Styles: Classic Country, Chicago Blues, Traditional Blues, Acoustic Blues
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPCs: 731454755528, 073145475552

Originally recorded in 1957, these sessions turned out to be the last the legendary Big Bill Broonzy would record; only a little over a year later, he succumbed to lung cancer. This collection consists not of fan or producer favorites, but Broonzy favorites, and includes a variety of blues, folk, and devotional music. Though he was instrumental to the development of the blues and the Chicago sound, much of the material on this three-disc set reaches back to the music that the blues came from, with a lot of drop-in help from Broonzy's friends, of which there were many. That makes these recordings not only recordings, but documentation, a testament to a bluesman who was at once musician and historian. --Genevieve Williams

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CD Reviews

In a perfect world this release would be FRONT PAGE NEWS
Docendo Discimus | 01/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It IS that GREAT! I have heard about the legend of Big Bill ,however, the only Cds I have heard were poorly produced an obscured his powerful playing. This package collection which serves as Bills legacy chilling. Listening to him describe his friend Big Maceo Merriweather, lament his passing and then mention that his song "Worried Life Blues" will probably live forever...and THEN playing/singing a version which WILL give you can understand why Eric Clapton wasn't interested in pursuing POP music when the Yardbirds chose that direction. This is a rare combination of Historical signifigance...which is also VERY other words..this medicine tastes GOOOOD...If you want to learn about real Folk/Blues music and its origins..and hear one of the true GIANTS play/sing/ and speak about the music from FIRST HAND PLEEEEEEEZ buy this set. By the way..the sound quality is amazing! This is simply time-capsule quality material..."
Honest conversations, Flawless presentations!
Bob Cooney ( | Middletown, Pa. | 09/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have been a collector of Big Bill's earlier recordings. He was usually accompanied by several other musicians, and it was difficult to hear his guitar work at times. This 1957 recording is Bill, his guitar, and his stories. His voice is cutting, his guitar playing is amazing, and his stories will make you cry. He even talks about these "new" fellas: Elvis and some other guy whos name escapes him. I will treasure this collection forever...Thanks Verve for re-releasing it for my generation to enjoy."
The last will and testament of William Lee Conley Broonzy
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 01/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"At least, that's what the original LP liner notes by producer Bill Randle proclaimed when "The Bill Bronzy Story" was issued as a 5-LP box set 42 years ago, in 1960.
This is a very charming and interesting mixture of songs, performed solo by Big Bill Broonzy on July 12 and 13 1957, and Big Bill's conversation with Bill Randle. The sound is amazingly good, and in spite of the illness which took his life not long after, Broonzy's voice and his intricate, elegant guitar playing are terrific."The Bill Broonzy Story" is a low-key, sometimes melancholy affair. The kind, charming and witty Big Bill Broonzy willingly retells anecdotes from a long and often hard life (he was born in the summer of 1893 in Mississippi, and would sometimes joke that he had "written" this or that song even though he had never actually been able to write anything, not even his own name).
He plays blues standarts such as "See See Rider" (AKA "C.C. Rider"), "It Hurts Me Too", "Frankie and Johnny" and "John Henry", as well as his own "Key to the Highway", and folk songs and spirituals such as "Ananaïs", "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "This Train".Unlike some very early blues singers, Bronzy's manner of singing is melodious, his diction is clear, and his guitar playing is sophisticated yet rhytmic.This is an important insight into the history of the only truly original American art form still available to us, the blues, and into the world that Big Bill Broonzy grew up in. And the songs and the voice are great."